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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone. And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.

Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America.

Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America.

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During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back: “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!” Truer words were never spoken.

Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth control would be taken away. He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico (even if they came from Cuba or Honduras), and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws. He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions – in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone. How could he do and say all these things ? See Churchill, above.

One might reasonably object that not every Obama supporter could be unintelligent. But they must then rationally explain how the Obama agenda can be paid for, aside from racking up multi-trillion dollar deficits. “Taxing the rich” does not yield even 10% of what is required and does not solve any discernible problem – so what is the answer, i.e., an intelligent answer?

Obama also knows that the electorate has changed – that whites will soon be a minority in America (they’re already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the U.S. are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a different world, and a different America. Obama is part of that different America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.

Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells, and harsh personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged in such diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his “negative ads” were simple facts, never personal abuse – facts about high unemployment, lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of leadership, etc. As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devil’s bargain of making unsustainable promises, and by talking as the adult and not the adolescent. Obama has spent the last six years campaigning; even his governance has been focused on payoffs to his favored interest groups. The permanent campaign also won again, to the detriment of American life.

It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan – people of substance, depth and ideas – to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their opponents. Obama mastered the politics of envy – of class warfare – never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups. Conservative ideas failed to take root and states that seemed winnable, and amenable to traditional American values, have simply disappeared from the map. If an Obama could not be defeated – with his record and his vision of America, in which free stuff seduces voters – it is hard to envision any change in the future. The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy – those very economies that are collapsing today in Europe – is paved.

A second cliché that should be retired is that America is a center-right country. It clearly is not. It is a divided country with peculiar voting patterns, and an appetite for free stuff. Studies will invariably show that Republicans in Congress received more total votes than Democrats in Congress, but that means little. The House of Representatives is not truly representative of the country. That people would vote for a Republican Congressmen or Senator and then Obama for President would tend to reinforce point two above: the empty-headedness of the electorate. Americans revile Congress but love their individual Congressmen. Go figure.

The mass media’s complicity in Obama’s re-election cannot be denied. One example suffices. In 2004, CBS News forged a letter in order to imply that President Bush did not fulfill his Air National Guard service during the Vietnam War, all to impugn Bush and impair his re-election prospects. In 2012, President Obama insisted – famously – during the second debate that he had stated all along that the Arab attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was “terror” (a lie that Romney fumbled and failed to exploit). Yet, CBS News sat on a tape of an interview with Obama in which Obama specifically avoided and rejected the claim of terrorism – on the day after the attack – clinging to the canard about the video. (This snippet of a “60 Minutes” interview was not revealed – until two days before the election!) In effect, CBS News fabricated evidence in order to harm a Republican president, and suppressed evidence in order to help a Democratic president. Simply shameful, as was the media’s disregard of any scandal or story that could have jeopardized the Obama re-election.

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About the Author: Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun of Teaneck, New Jersey, and the author most recently of “Judges for Our Time: Contemporary Lessons from the Book of Shoftim” (Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem, 2009). His writings and lectures can be found at www.Rabbipruzansky.com.


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101 Responses to “The Decline and Fall of the American Empire”

  1. Sour grapes because Obama is trying to negotiate peace, that Israel has been unable to do with their neighbors. The prime minister Netanyahhoo would rather we bully Iran against the wishes of China and Russia and perhaps lead us to world war 3.

  2. Sour grapes because Obama is trying to negotiate peace, that Israel has been unable to do with their neighbors. The prime minister Netanyahhoo would rather we bully Iran against the wishes of China and Russia and perhaps lead us to world war 3.

  3. Sour grapes because Obama is trying to negotiate peace, that Israel has been unable to do with their neighbors. The prime minister Netanyahhoo would rather we bully Iran against the wishes of China and Russia and perhaps lead us to world war 3.

  4. why does the Rabbi continue to live in galus.

  5. Great article :) Obama is the worst thing that has ever happened to the States . I grieve deeply as I watch the greatest country in the world tank :(

  6. **** U and your condescending bull****. I can't believe your editor even allowed post in this paper for such a ridiculous piece fantastically devoid of any objectivity and insulting to any audience –specifically voter constituents. Signed, Voter/EMPLOYED/ Registered Nurse/not on welfare and incidentally voted along womens rights and pro-choice agenda. Voted for FREEdom of Choice not FREE STUFF!

  7. Tamika Renae says:

    I dealt with a Bush re-election, and survived it. So now we all must deal with an Obama re-election. All super powers eventually fail…if this one does it will be because of our fears. We fear more than we don't fear…make scary movies, thrillers, and can't sleep at night. Need some new heroes…and they aren't usually A President. It is an average Joe who turns out not to be so average.

  8. Steve Lehmann says:

    That's a fairly unpopular opinion among people that I know. I'm genuinely curious why you think that as I think you are a great guy and I respect you.

    Is it possible that people didn't vote Romney because the disliked some of the surface attributes like being anti-gay and the fact that he changed his opinion on most of the things he stood for between running for governor and then president?

  9. WHAT I HAVE READ IN SOME OF THE COMMENTS, PEOPLE HAVE REALLY LOST THEIR PRINCAPLES.

  10. Bubba Dan says:

    G-d is using Obama to pass judgement. The USA has become a decadent and disgusting place. We no longer help each other as we are all so selfish. Everyone feels entitled and is into getting free stuff.

    Everything G-d hates is being done in America, immorality is on the rise, deviant sexual behaviors, homosexual marriages, sacrificing living children through abortion and promoting it worldwide. G-d will not stand by and watch this stuff go on forever, He will pass judgement and I believe he has started doing just that.

  11. Sound like the best summary I've seen yet.

  12. Praxidio Buenagua says:

    Wow. Congratulations President Obama.

  13. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Nothing new here with America, just more of the same but worse. The pattern has been set a long time ago and we see how it developed up until today. Look and learn.
    http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hirally.htm

  14. Anonymous says:

    Rabbi, get it right. OBAMA and all the other politicions in AMERICA are dictated what to do by an elite RICH conglomerate of multi-national MILITARY_PHARMA_INDUSTRIAL complex, that manipulates all aspects of the "NEW AMERICA", and that's what's really sinking the once great nation with a great constitution. Fake legislation called "EXECUTIVE ORDERS" has decimated the constitution and the amendments, until now, there's nothing but shreds of those documents.

  15. Gary Kreller says:

    Sorry Kenny, but I think that article was just a load of bigoted codswallop designed to further inflame an already divided electorate. I think it's just possible that Americans didn't vote for Republicans because the current crop don't actually represent those so-called "conservative virtues" or anything remotely resembling actual conservative values. Y'all seem to forget that what we are attempting to achieve here is a SOCIETY, not a collection of atoms.

  16. Sorry, we don't allow The conservative whackos in Israel and their warmongering leader to dictate our policies here and abroad. You obviously don't know us very well… We're not a crazy-assed theocracy nor a plutocracy.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bull****. OBAMA could care less about peace, in ISRAEL, IRAQ AFGHANISTAN or anywhere else in the world. He hasn't changed a thing about what his TREASONOUS WAR.CRIME predecessor has done in IRAQ or AFGHANISTAN, and THAT'S AFTER the whole world knew that BUSH and CO lied repeatedly to the world about a number of things to allow them to attack two sovereign countries and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and obliterate the countries' infrastructure. All the USA's "leaders" are rapacious pawns of the ELITE RICH who have stolen the country and decimated it's constitution under the secrecy umbrella of "national security".

  18. Anonymous says:

    It is NOT just OBAMA, get it straight, it's MANY MANY deviant and foolish pawns for the rich elite that have caused the countries' demise. It's been going on for quite some time. AND, it's NOT just the USA, the "evil" you speak of is virtually everywhere on the planet, just open your eyes and look around to what's going on in the world. And, more importantly, look at your OWN spiritual failings 1st, before casting stones, lest you be called a hypocrite.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sure. Like "congrats BUSH" in the past? Use your mind.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Kenny, grow a brain. Bush Jr was the worst EVER, enacting two aggressions against sovereign countries with LIES to the world, illegal mass spying on AMERICAN citizens, illegal torture and secret renditions, passing executive orders destroying the very foundation of freedom and the constitution in the USA ( PATRIOT ACTS ). OBAMA is merely continuing what SICKO-BUSH enacted.

  21. Gregg Munshaw says:

    Rubbish…

  22. Mercedes Muchita-Thomas says:

    This is a sorry article of lies.

  23. Kenny… the reason why Romney lost was cause he is Romney, an emotionless clown that most of America cannot relate to. If you cannot relate to a guy you are asked to vote for, then you cannot fundamentally trust him. His actions over the last 4 years in stalling any progression in government in the states by focusing on 2012 from the start of the Obama presidency is what turned off most people from him. The article which I have read says that Romney didn't run a negative campaign… that's hugely unfair since while the ads may not have been overly negative the mere fact that Mitt started campaigning in 2007 is by itself a negative act which itself was a statement of how he felt about Obama. Romney and his group of unhappy men are sore losers who want to dictate and work their way in america and THAT is why they lost. There was no attempt on their part to work with Obama from day 1… They were negative from the get go and that makes the government fail. We see the same thing in Canada and Ontario with our elected "unofficials". We the people choose a direction to go in. We elect the guy who represents that direction, and often times the loser of the election cannot accept the peoples choice and will spend the peoples money in time wasting arguments and challenges for the next four years to get the losers agenda done anyways. That's why people don't vote, because it doesn't matter who we vote for anymore nothing will ever get done. Until the politicians start to realize they work for the people, and not to advance their own agendas and financial situation, will anything ever get done.

  24. Matityahu Ben-David says:

    I didn't vote for Romney because I saw first hand how trickle down economics doesn't lift the lower elements of society. Outsourcing jobs overseas making business owners wealthier and stock prices going up does not result in money "trickling" down the working class. People won't buy into this failed ideology anymore. I'll even go to the extent and say Trickle Down Economics RUINED Judaism in America in the form of inflated kosher food prices AND $30k/year tuition. Time we get back to the basics and go back to the economic principles of Zaydie and Bubbie that led to the New Deal and brought the Jews up in wealth. It is rather racist to say it was acceptable for the Jews to use the "liberal" economic policy in the 40's and 50's but to now say no it's not ok for the new immigrants (ie. Hispanics). We need to take a good look in the mirror and find the heart of the problem with people flying OTD, insane tuitions, and a shidduch crisis (caused by chasing the Egel HaZahav (materialism) and worshipping Momma (Greek God of Wealth) and not Hashem.

  25. And then there is tricke down government from the public sector unions that steal millions from the taxpayer to fund their million dollar pensions. Do the math

  26. And elite welfare thives and unions taking their cut of taxes not goods.

  27. Obama is only a symptom of some deep anti semiticism a la the Democratic convention that fervently booed GOD and JERUSALEM.

  28. Matityahu Ben-David says:

    Yes, I agree there needs to be Union Reform, but overall it is still a better system than the new trickle down formula. Ask your grandparents.

  29. Bush has not been in power in 4 years. We you use this excuse, like the Obama, in another 4 years?

  30. What is "Supreme Commander , Grand Wizared of such and such". Sounds like the KKK only a a relativist one.

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